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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur I, 23 [Vol. 7, 695]

[7, 8] Bil baugstalls ‘the Bil <goddess> of the ring-seat [ARM > WOMAN]’: This emendation is conjectural. Baugstalls ‘of the ring-seat’ (i.e. ‘of the arm’) is clearly a determinant in a kenning for woman (see Meissner 420). However, brúðr ‘woman’ (so 721) cannot function as a base-word in such a kenning. Skj B emends to brú ‘bridge’ and reads brú baugstalls ‘the bridge of the ring-seat’ (i.e. ‘woman’), but brú ‘bridge’ is unattested as a base-word in a kenning for woman (see LP: brú). Bil, on the other hand, is a common base-word in such kennings (see LP: Bil) and in keeping with the other woman-kennings in Mv I (see also st. 14/6: auðar-Bil ‘wealth-Bil’ i.e. ‘woman’).


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